Anita Blake versus Lestat de Lioncourt.


Another series that was compared to me long, long ago, were Laurell K Hamilton’s Anita Blake, and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.

I started reading Anne Rice back in High School, I think somewhere around the time the ‘Queen of the Damned’ movie came out. I found out they were based on books (Interview with the Vampire was one of my favorite movies) so I started reading the books right away! In college, (I don’t remember exactly how it happened) another person in my class and I got talking about Anne Rice, and she told me if I like Anne Rice, I’ll like Anita Blake. If you’ve read my reviews, you’ll know it was YEARS later that I finally picked up a Laurell K Hamilton book.

Once again, I saw no similarities, even less than Harry Dresden and Harry Potter. Both books contain Vampires. That’s about where the similarities end.

Laurell K. Hamilton’s series is about Anita Blake, a necromancer turned Vampire Hunter for the State. She does get entangled with the local Vampire coven and romantically involved with the leader.

Anne Rice’s series follows, for the most part, a French Noble turned Vampire. His trials and tribulations as he grows both as a Vampire, and as a personality, and eventually to a leader of his kind. Lestat does share some similar traits with Anita, both are sarcastic and a little bit childish, but where Anita’s personality is within normal limits, Lestat breaks any boundaries and creates a level all his own – even earning the title the Brat Prince.

On top of the main characters being really nothing alike, the stories are drastically different. Anita’s story takes place in current times as she battles supernatural creatures of all kinds and tries to find her place in the Vampire community. Lestat’s story, known as the Vampire Chronicles, actually bounces between other Vampires, like Louis and Armand, to tell a fuller, wider story. It starts way back in Lestat’s childhood (around the 1800s), and details his entire life as a teen, up until he attracted the attention of an Ancient Vampire, through his learning how to be a Vampire and gaining a following of both humans and Vampires. Because of their long life, the stories eventually catch up to current times (the times when the books were written since the series is very old: Interview was first publish in 1976). Both stories are very much a coming-to-age style, only Anne Rice does hers on a much larger scale.

The Anita Blake series is told from her point of view, so you see the story ONLY through Anita’s point of view. It does make the story interesting because you get to learn about Anita through her thoughts and reactions, and you learn about other characters through her impressions of them. The Vampire chronicles are told from that Vampires point of view, but in the sense they are literally writing their own books. Interview with the Vampire is written as Louis giving an interview, so you get conversation between him and Daniel, the boy interviewing him. All of the books in the series are done like the Vampire they are about are actually WRITING the book, so you always get their thoughts on the events, and only their point of view, but another book might come out written by another Vampire that overlaps and tells a slightly different version of the same event. The books are incredibly well written and interesting for that fact.

Certain topics come up in both books, and are dealt with beautifully, but those topics aren’t enough to call the books similar.

Both series are awesome, for entirely different reasons. Laurell K Hamiltons books are a quick fun read, where as Anne Rice’s are a bit deeper and dwell more on thought (their place in the world, religious ramifications, the need to kill to survive, etc), than actions. I loved both series and I’m first in line when new books come out (to the point I have all the new Anne Rice books in hardcover).

I don’t want a Vampire lover to miss a wonderful series because they are expecting one or the other. If you read my other Versus review, you’d know I likened Anita Blake to Harry Dresden, but Anne Rice is kind of in her own classification. If I had to compare her to ANYONE it might have to be Ken Follett. The heavily emotional stories that spans through generations.

I rather enjoy writing these Versus reviews, especially since people comparing one book to another shaped what kind of books I started reading. I wouldn’t have read Anita Blake, or Harry Dresden if it wasn’t for someone telling me it was similar to a series I had already read.

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